Pumpkin is a very mellow flavor that needs a lot of help to get noticed; often people identify the flavor of the spice that the pumpkin is mixed with as the actual flavor of pumpkin. For example, pumpkin pie usually smells mostly of the spice mix used in the custard, not necessarily of the pumpkin itself. This is why we are using roasted pumpkin in this recipe with absolutely no spices to mask its flavor. A useful tip for flavor combination is this: Produce that is harvested during the same period of time will usually taste good together, and even more so if it’s from the same part of the world. This is why pumpkin and cranberry can work well together. Cranberries have a tart fruitiness that can act as salt does, enhancing the mellow pumpkin. As for the pumpkin seeds—well, they’re from the pumpkin, therefore it is a natural pairing, but interestingly enough, pumpkin seed paste has a much more pronounced flavor than pumpkin flesh. This is why seeds are used in a smaller proportion in this dessert. The star is the pumpkin, and the other flavors play merely a supporting role.
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